The Yeti Nation made its collective voice — or Yeti call, as the case may be — heard Tuesday when Josh Bredl, of Denver, Colo., was voted the winning male of WWE Tough Enough. Before reporting to the WWE Performance Center, Bredl looks back at the 10-week competition, talks about his newfound passion for the ring, and discusses whether his $250,000 contract equates to having a target on his back.
Q: What was racing through your mind when Chris Jericho revealed you as the winner?
A: I was just shocked. I was so proud because I’d been working so hard and the fact the WWE Universe and “Yeti Nation” stood up for me and kept me here was just a pinnacle moment for me. I will work to show them that they made the right choice.
Q: Lita commented that you feed off of the physicality of wrestling, and you stated you’ve “got the itch.” Can you elaborate on how you’ve taken to life in the ring?
A: I definitely love to compete, no matter what it is, and so the fact that now it’s in the ring, I’m not only competing with other people, I’m competing with myself. When this started out, I really wanted this, and it’s really turned into something that I need now. That being said, yes, I’ve got the itch, I’ve been infected by this thing, man, so I’m always craving it. I always want more, and the fact I’m learning at an exponential rate just fires me up more. I want to take the next step all the time.
Q: As somebody who played a high level of football, how does the learning curve for wrestling compare to football?
A: It’s all about technique — whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling — and having a good foundation. Once you’ve got the fundamentals down, you can branch off of that. That’s how I look at wrestling, too. Once you’ve got your feet, you’ve got your air, you can really flourish from there.
Q: What was the most difficult part of Tough Enough for you? What was the most enjoyable part?
A: Just the lifestyle change of not knowing what’s next and the itinerary never being set in stone was a little hard for me because I’m so used to having a really constructed itinerary. Being able to roll with the punches was something that was new to me, but I adapted, and I like it now, to be honest. Now, I think I’d rather roll with the punches and live in the moment than know the whole grand scheme. As far as one of the most fun things, I’d have to say that I’ll always remember taking the chop from Big Show at the live show. That was awesome.
Q: Triple H commented that you’re a fierce competitor. What are your expectations for adjusting to the WWE Performance Center — including the competition of it all — and does your lucrative contract add to the pressure to succeed?
A: Going into this thing I knew I was going to have to earn respect and it wasn’t just going to be given to me. Triple H definitely understands that I’m a competitive guy. It’s natural. I’m not boasting about it; it’s just something that I always need and want, and headed into the Performance Center, coming up here to train, I know I have a whole lot to learn, and I’m not coming in here cocky at all.
The contract’s great, but contract or not, I want to do this, and the fact that there’s a dollar sign on my head and a target painted on my back now, I’m just going to have to own that and live up to it and kill everybody with kindness. I have to let everybody know I’m here for business. I’m not here to make friends or not make friends; I’m here for the business. I’m here to go to work, and if my coworkers love me, I’m going to love them back.
Q: This past weekend at SummerSlam, you got a small taste of the life of a WWE Superstar. How did it feel?
A: I got a small taste of what this is all about and what this lifestyle calls for, and it was awesome. I think I fit right in. It’s my riff, you know what I mean? Just the environment and the people … nobody backstage at these events is an ordinary person. Everybody’s extraordinary, and that’s what I strive to be. I don’t want to be an ordinary guy. I want to be that extra, and to be surrounded by people like that is just awesome.
Q: You may not be aware of this, but everywhere you went this weekend, people, including WWE Legends, commented on how you command attention without even opening your mouth. How does it make you feel knowing that Legends said, “That guy’s going to be something”?
A: That’s huge for me. I guess my presence speaks for itself. I always took a lot of pride in letting my work speak for itself and letting my body language speak for me. I think it’s a lot more impactful than being this cocky, young guy who opens his mouth and craves attention. I’m just going to keep that up and try to earn the respect of all these people and all these Legends. Take it in my back pocket and make that propel me forward in this career.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the journey ahead?
A: I’m looking forward to the whole thing, but when it comes down to the little details, I’m just trying to do this day by day. I’m looking forward to making connections, to making new friends, taking the steps and earning my milestones, and eventually, someday, go to the main roster.